Keeping the spirit alive

Alpena High School alumni cheerleaders celebrate reunion

A group of Alpena High School almni cheerleaders got together at the Courtyard in Alpena to celebrate the accomplishments they achieved during their athletic careers.

“This group of women that I coached, when they were in high school, they thought that their primary job was to support the team that was playing on the court or the field and to get the people in the audience involved in that aspect and that’s what we did,” Buchner said. “We did cheers that would fire them up that got everyone involved and we created an environment that people were supporting any athlete that was out there doing their thing.”

At the time, Alpena was the only Class A team in northern Michigan, other than Traverse City.

The team traveled to compete in Traverse City, but needed to travel 250 miles to compete in Midland and Bay City. The varsity team consisting of 10 girls would split up into two cars, five athletes in each. Buchner became so close with all of her athletes not only because of the countless hours of practice and competition, but also the hours spent in the car.

“The girls would ask tons of questions on those car rides. We would practice hard and they were all dedicated to the process, but because of the time that we spent in the car, I think I was able to get closer to them than I had been to any group I had been with before,” Buchner said. “I went to Texas and had drill teams, but did not have a close relationship with all of them. It was different and because there were so few restrictions of what we could, we had very few injuries, we were always safe and it was just a different time period.”

The group will finish off their reunion in style today at 10:00 a.m. when they go back to Alpena High School and get one more opportunity to play cheerleader again.

The team will do old pom pom routines and do some cheers in the gymnasium and play for roughly an hour and say goodbye after an afternoon lunch.

“We built such a foundation with what we did with Betty directing us and even though there has been gaps in between those years where we haven’t seen one another, being here is like never left,” AHS alumni cheerleader Jody Sprague said. “It’s very heartwarming to see each other and everyone is happy and healthy and even though some aren’t here with us, they will always be with us in spirit.”